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Two Persian Stories in Chinese, German

Seyyed Ali Shojaee’s ‘What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?’ is listed among the books taught in all schools in Germany for students between 7 and 12 years
Seyyed Ali Shojaee and the cover of ‘Half Man Horn’ (R) and ‘What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?’Seyyed Ali Shojaee and the cover of ‘Half Man Horn’ (R) and ‘What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?’

The book ‘Half Man Horn’ written by Seyyed Ali Shojaee has been translated into Chinese and published in China while the German translation of his ‘What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?’ has been reprinted for the second time in Germany.

‘Half Man Horn’ is a fictional satirical story for children and young adults first published by Neyestan Publishing House in Iran in 2012, Mehr News Agency reported.

The story is about a king who decides to collect taxes from his people. But the people of one city proclaim that they will pay tax only on condition that the ministers answer people’s questions, and if they fail to respond correctly, they will not pay. In search of answers, the ministers come across a man called ‘Half Man Horn’. Surprised by his strange name, they mistake the simpleton for a genius who can answer the questions.

The book has illustrations by Alireza Goldouzian whose works were displayed at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Italy.

  Taught in German Schools

‘What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?’ is another book by Shojaee, also for children and young adults, and has recently been published for the second time in Germany.

According to the publisher Baobab Books, following the book’s translation into German and its subsequent selection as the book of the month by the Academy of Children’s and Youth Literature in Germany in 2013, the children’s picture book was selected to be taught in a number of schools in Germany for three months. The successful three-month trial resulted in Shojaee’s book to be listed among the books taught in all schools in Germany for students between 7 and 12 years.

The illustrated story tells the tale of a huge snowman built by the children in a village from the very first snow of the winter. It soon becomes apparent that the snowman is a dictator who orders the village inhabitants around and gets rid of the seasons. The story is an intelligent and critical examination of the relationship between power and powerlessness.

Originally published in Persian by Neyestan Publishing House in 2011, the book received the Children’s Book Award in Iran in the same year. It is illustrated by Elaheh Taherian.

Born in Tehran, Shojaee, 33, has written eight books in Persian and also won several national awards. He is the son of well-known author Seyed Mehdi Shojaee, 56, whose books have been translated into foreign languages, including ‘In the Twinkling of an Eye’ and ‘Democracy or Demo-Crazy’ into English and ‘Another Hurricane is Coming’ into Russian.

 

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